Snacks

Macadamia and Coconut Balls

 

Lately I have become completely addicted to Bounce energy balls, and in particular the Macadamia and Coconut flavour. They've become my go-to snack in the afternoon and I'm always tripping out of the office on a lunch time to stock up in Holland & Barratt. 

So I thought I'd have a go at making my own. I checked the back of the pack and I picked out what I thought were the essentials for flavour and consistency and this was the result.

I'd love to know what you think. 

SERVES: 8 small balls
PREP TIME: 30 minutes
COOK TIME: 0 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 100g macadamia nuts

  • 40g cashew nuts

  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds

  • 4 tbsp coconut flour

  • Dessicated coconut (+ extra for rolling)

  • 1 tbsp rice malt syrup

  • 1 tbsp coconut cream

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Put the macadamia nuts and cashews in a food processor and blitz until they're a fine powder or paste, at at least until you have no big lumps left.

2. In a bowl, mix together the nuts, sesame seeds, two tablespoons of the flour and the dessicated coconut until well blended. 

3. Add the rice malt syrup and coconut cream and combine. You should get a paste which you eventually feel able to pick up and roll with your hands. If it's not the right consistency add more flour if it's too wet: this is why I started off with only 2tbsp to begin with, but don't be afraid to add more! I didn't find the balls tasted floury at all. If it's too dry, add more coconut cream. 

4. When you've got a big paste ball rolling in your hands, divide it into 8 equal pieces. Roll each into a ball. To decorate, I chose to roll half of mine in dessicated coconut. 

5. Eat and enjoy! I think these little guys will last a while in the fridge or even do well frozen and popped on top of desserts, but I couldn't tell you just yet because I ate all mine straight away :) 

Salmon onigiri

I am completely obsessed with sushi and was lucky enough to go to Japan last year with work. Being able to have incredible, freshly made sushi which didn't break the bank was absolute heaven for me and I would love to go back again. 

So back in London, every week I go to my Spanish lesson (still very early days but hopefully one day I'll be good enough to write a blog or two in Spanish!) I always treat myself to an onigiri from Wasabi. They're so simple but so delicious and the perfect snack. 

I've tried sushi making before and I think we all know it's an art. So when I spotted onigiri on my Instagram feed, and as they're one of my favourite snacks anyway, I thought this might be a good entry level starter.

I'd bought some brown sushi rice and whilst it's a bit of a faff to prepare, with lots of soaking and waiting around, it's absolutely perfect once it's done. I'd suggest if you want to make these prepare the rice the day before and keep in the fridge. Otherwise if you're doing them after work like I was, it becomes a bit of an all night affair! 

SERVES: Makes 5-6 good size onigiri
PREP TIME: 20 minutes + sushi rice soaking and cooking time (check packet instructions)
COOK TIME: 0 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • brown sushi rice
  • 4 sheets nori 
  • 1 cooked salmon fillet 
  • toasted sesame oil 
  • black and white sesame seeds (for decoration)
  • paprika (for decoration)

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Cook the sushi rice according to the packet instructions. 

2. In a bowl, flake up the salmon fillet and mix with sesame oil and a few white sesame seeds if you'd like. Onigiri fillings are often made with pickles, or teriyaki, mayonnaise or soy sauce, which aren't ideal for yeast-free. This one is just simple salmon and sesame oil. 

3. Once the rice is cool, get a bowl of warm water and dunk your hands in to wet them completely to make sure the rice doesn't stick to your hands. With your hands, scoop out a portion of the rice: I'd suggest a decent handful for a good size onigiri. 

4. Make a rough ball with the rice and push a hole in the centre, to make room for the filling.

5. Spoon a little of your salmon mixture into the hole, as much as you can get in! With your fingers, push it firmly in. 

6. With a wet hand, scoop out a little bit more sushi rice and press this on top of your first half with the filling, to completely cover and surround it. 

7. Shape your onigiri into pyramids, using one hand to cup the bottom and the other to to pinch the top of the rice into a point. With wet hands you should be able to mould the rice quite easily.

8. Repeat the process as many times as you can - I got 5 onirigi out of this much rice.

9. Cut nori sheets into thick strips to wrap around the bottom of the onigiri, in the traditional way. Alternatively you can use a whole nori sheet to wrap your onigiri completely (I have to say I haven't mastered the best way to do this, without the handy Wasabi packet to show me how!). 

10. Enjoy! I put these in a tupperware in the fridge and ate them over the next 24hrs. The sushi rice will make the nori go a little soggy, so you could always wrap just before eating.  

I must add I am hugely indebted to Steve at Steve's Kitchen for his video on YouTube which showed me how to make and shape these onigiri. If you've not done it before, check out his video as it demonstrates the technique I am explaining in writing.

Tzatziki

SERVES: as many as you like! 
PREP TIME: 15 minutes
COOK TIME: 0 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 500ml Greek yoghurt 
  • 1 clove garlic 
  • 1tbsp lemon juice
  • 5-7cm cucumber (julienne peeled and also some chopped into small pieces for variety)
  • olive oil 
  • salt and pepper 

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Start with your yoghurt in a bowl and basically add as much or as little of each of the rest of the ingredients as you want to your taste.

The measurements here are very much as a guide, I very rarely measure mine and constantly keep adding, tasting and adjusting as I go along. Perhaps I should measure as my boyfriend reliably informs me some batches are better than others...!

I tend to use maximum one garlic clove otherwise it can be a bit overpowering, so add this very gradually.


 

Cacao, pistachio and quinoa puff bars

This recipe came from Pinterest and when I saw the photo, I just knew I had to make these. The colours are so fantastic with the green, red, white and dark brown all contrasting against each other. And best of all the bars are absolutely delicious. Mine did not last long at all.... 

This recipe is inspired by Wholehearted Eats. Thank you! 

SERVES: 1
PREP TIME: 15 minutes + setting c. 30 minutes minimum
COOK TIME: 0 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 tbsp coconut oil
  • 4 tbsp cacao powder
  • 2 tbsp of maple syrup (or other sweetener of choice) 
  • pinch of salt
  • 30g (1 cup) puffed quinoa
  • 25g (¼ cup) goji berries
  • 25g (¼ cup) roughly chopped pistachios 

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Line a pan with grease-proof paper. 
I used my smallest tray and allowed the paper to extend either side so that when the bars were set I could lift them out easily. 

2. In a pan over a low heat melt together the first four ingredients, being careful not to bubble or burn. 

3. When completely combined and liquid pour into your tray. 

4. Sprinkle your puffed quinoa, goji berries and pistachios over the top, distributing evenly. Put in the fridge to chill. 

5. After about 30 minutes they should be set. Lift out on the grease-proof paper and cut into individual pieces. Try to resist eating them all in one go! Keep in the fridge.